Idea 1: The Red Box Project 

Describe your Good Idea: The Red Box Project Southend is a not for profit initiative run by volunteer local women, who quietly ensure no girl misses her education because of her period.

We provide a well stocked box of free santiary items within local Southend schools, so girls from low income backgrounds can access the items they need.The box is a reliable source for them to turn to when they have no one else to help them. The initiative is run completely by volunteers and relies entirely on donations from the community. It is a simple idea- older women providing for younger girls.

Why is this Idea important? Period Poverty effects 1 in 10 girls in the UK- they cannot afford sanitary protection. We hear countless stories from teachers who often use their own money to support girls through their periods so their students do not miss school. Some families really do need to choose between eating and sanitary items. 49% of these girls have missed an entire day of school due to their period, and almost 33% have missed more than one day. This is not acceptable and we work to end period poverty.

How would you use the funding from Soup? We can use the funding to help buy red boxes to keep at the schools, as well as donation points. Also to replenish donations when they run low. We also take donations of new packets of knickers, for when the girls need these.

Your Idea takes off; what’s happening 6 months from now? We are able to roll the project out to more schools in the area. We currently support 3 schools, but we have a waiting list of schools that need help. We have to make sure our donations are consistent and sustainable so the project is a reliable source. We need to make sure donations can be replenished regularly. Our aim is to support every school in Essex, but Southend is our priority for now.

Idea 2: Off the Streets

Describe your Good Idea: We are Off the Streets – a new Southend homeless shelter open from 8pm til 8am every night and run entirely by volunteers. Guests can enjoy a buffet meal and a warm dry place to sleep for the night. We also help them fill in necessary forms, and attend appointments, to help them to move on from their situation. We also have showers, and give guests breakfast and a snack pack before they leave.

Why is this Idea important? Homelessness is a growing problem and statutory services are currently insufficient to meet people’s needs. We are a stepping stone to move rough sleepers closer to securing permanent accommodation and a better quality of life.

How would you use the funding from Soup? To keep the shelter running. We rely entirely on donations.

Your Idea takes off; what’s happening 6 months from now? We will have supported people to move on to better circumstances, helping to reduce rough sleeping and homelessness in Southend.

Idea 3: KAOS Youth Club camping adventure

Describe your Good Idea: We want to do a September sleepover in the woods in Hockley at Ark Lane. KAOS youth club has been running 3 years now and we opened a second club in Great wakering in July with no funding.

Why is this Idea important? The club gives gives young people aged 10 – 15 years old a safe place to be, helps with anxiety and social skills, reduces bullying and prevents involvement with gangs. We teach young people skills and help build confidence and esteem to broaden their opportunities in life.

How would you use the funding from Soup? We’d like to fund a sleepover adventure in the woods for 50 young people.

Your Idea takes off; what’s happening 6 months from now? Not only will we have given our young members a fun adventure (many of them won’t have holidays) but funding helps ensure we can stay open and support even more children and young people.


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